News / Middle East

VOA Interview: Egypt Presidential Hopeful Outlines Vision

Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh (file photo)
Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh (file photo)
Mohamed Elshinnawi
Egyptian presidential hopeful Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh is a practicing physician with extensive experience in international relief work. A former leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood, he is also a prominent Islamic activist. Known for his relatively liberal positions on social issues, he is supported by young Islamists, liberals and even Egypt's Copts.  (You can listen to the full podcast in Arabic here.)

Elshinnawi: If you are elected president, what will priorities will you set for your first 100 days in office?

Aboul Fotouh: Restoring security and stability would be my number one priority because the current laxity in security is a remnant of the Mubarak regime. His police officials are abusing their authority in order to spread instability. Tight security is crucial to restarting our economy and attracting and maintaining the flow of investment.

Elshinnawi: There is one looming challenge for the new president--the sentencing of former President Mubarak, scheduled for June 2nd. If he is acquitted and you are the elected president, what will you do?

Aboul Fotouh: While I respect court rulings, it is a well-known fact that the trials of members of the deposed regime have lacked the cooperation of the executive branch in terms of providing prosecutors and investigators with documents necessary for justice to prevail. So I will not hesitate to order a retrial of Mubarak and his associates. The new trial would take place within a new rule of law to ensure that the judiciary is completely independent from the executive branch.

Elshinnawi: Your platform calls for transforming the Egyptian economy into one of the world's top 20 economies by 2020. How would you be able fulfill that promise, given the ailing state of the Egyptian economy?

Aboul Fotouh: Egypt's economy will never collapse. In the medium range, we will be able to rejuvenate the economy by opening the door to Egyptian, Arab and foreign investment. I have met with many investors, and they have assured me that they are just waiting for the environment to stabilize before resuming their investments in Egypt. They realize that a trusted and elected leadership will pave the way for realizing the great potential of the Egyptian economy.

Elshinnawi: Social justice is a major goal of the Egyptian revolution, but it requires huge resources to achieve. How would you deal with that issue?

Aboul Fotouh: I would work to achieve that goal gradually, starting with two huge projects to provide quality education and healthcare, as well as make improvements to the infrastructure in poorer areas. While Egypt will continue to have a free economy, with private sector comprising 75 percent of all economic activity, the state has to ensure social justice by securing minimum income and providing job opportunities.

Elshinnawi: What role you envision for Egyptian expatriates in rebuilding Egypt?

Aboul Fotouh: We now have about 8 million Egyptians living abroad. We trust their loyalty and love for their homeland. Most of these Egyptians left the country because they were fleeing 30 years of an authoritarian regime and its corruption. Now they can contribute to rebuilding a post-revolutionary Egypt either through their technical skill or investment.

Elshinnawi: You have promised to make the Egyptian army the strongest in the region. Would you maintain the army's economy as it has been running--apart from the general budget?

Aboul Fotouh: Nothing would operate outside the state budget. Anything that currently falls outside the budget will be brought back into it, because my platform calls for budget unity. All national resources will be subjected to scrutiny and auditing. That would not contradict our keen interest in supporting a strong professional army to protect our homeland and secure our development.

Elshinnawi: Some still consider you a candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood and fear if they were to vote for you, Egypt would end up being controlled by an Islamist parliament, government and an Islamist president. What would you say to them?

Aboul Fotouh: There is no problem in having a Muslim Brotherhood candidate, but as I announced from day one, I am running as an independent candidate, representing all Egyptians. I chose to be independent to serve the whole country, as opposed to representing a single party or a single group. Now, we see that the Muslim Brotherhood has fielded a second candidate after their first choice was disqualified. So no one can claim that I am the Muslim Brotherhood candidate.

Elshinnawi: Some Islamists are calling for changing the constitution to implement Islamic law. Do you agree with them?

Aboul Fotouh: Nothing needs to be changed. Article Two of the constitution stipulates that Islamic law is the major source for legislation. That notion is still widely supported by all and would not be touched. Egypt has been a civil--not a theocratic--state for 15 centuries and will be a modern democratic state that respects Islamic law as a reference for legislation under the auspices of the High Constitutional Court.

Elshinnawi: Some presidential candidates have pledged to reconsider the Camp David accords or renegotiate some of its articles. What are your thoughts?

Aboul Fotouh: This treaty needs and deserves reconsideration. The elected parliament should review and reconsider the Camp David agreement, because some of its articles encroach on Egyptian national security and interests.

Elshinnawi: U.S. – Egyptian relations are considered important to both countries. During Mubarak’s era, that relationship entailed strategic cooperation. How do you see the future of Egypt’s relationship with the U.S.?

Aboul Fotouh: We are keen to have good relations with the U.S., but we need to reformulate that relationship in order to secure Egypt’s interests and prevent Egypt from being a satellite state. As for strategic cooperation, it is a term that was coined to, in essence, make Egypt a satellite state in the U.S. policy orbit, at the expense of Egypt’s interests. We will not allow that to be the case with any country. Instead, our relations would be based on common interests and mutual respect.

You May Like

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ADEL ALSHEAR from: OSLO NORWAY
May 18, 2012 3:19 AM
THISIS ABW ALFTWH IS ONE THE LEDEAR GROUP ALGMAAAH ALASLAMEH THE GROUP HAVE IN ABW ALFTWH WITH ALTHWHRI . THIS IS BECOME START GROUP ALGMAAH ALSLAMEH AS GROUP IN BY TIME EX POLITIC LAND OF FRO THE MR MHM DHSNI MBARK AND TIME EX POLITIC LAND OF FRO MR MHMD ANWR ALSTAT GROUP POLITIC 23TH07TH1952TH THE GROUP HAVE GMAL ABD ALNASR ALLTHI WITH ZKREA MHE ALDEN AWITH KHALD MHI ALDEN WITH . THIS IS WAY NOW AS THE COMWITHOUT ALL GROUP ALGMAAH ALASLAMEHGROUP ABW ALFTWH ANDALTHWHRI .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs